Prairie Post

5 things you absolutely must know today

1. Three missing women found in Cleveland

Yesterday afternoon, three missing women and a six-year-old girl were discovered in a Cleveland home after being held hostage by three brothers for as long as a decade. The women were freed after next-door neighbour Charles Ramsey heard one of the women, Amanda Berry, screaming from inside the house. Ramsey, who was somehow able to give the twisted story some levity, told media he was completely surprised when he found his neighbour had been keeping the women hidden for years.

“You got some big testicles to pull this one off, bro, ‘cause we see this dude every day. I barbecue with this dude. We eat ribs and what-not and listen to salsa music.”

The three women, who range in age from their early twenties to early thirties, as well as Berry’s six-year-old daughter, have been released from the hospital and are now reunited with family and friends. [CNN]

2. North Korea removes missiles from launch site

For the first time in a long time, North Korea has made a sensible decision, removing two medium-range missiles from an east-coast launch site. The move came as China finally decided to halt transactions from North Korea’s Foreign Trade Bank, marking the first time China has acted against North Korean interests since Kim Jong-un began ramping up his violent rhetoric. Don’t go throwing a “North Korea won’t kill us all” party just yet though—Pentagon spokesman George Little said that the move may just be a “provocation pause” to keep everyone on their toes. [BBC]

3. Chronic back pain may be caused by infection

A new study by scientists at the University of Southern Denmark has found that 20 to 40 per cent of chronic lower back is caused by bacterial infections. The bacteria, which until now was better known as a cause of acne, can enter the vertebrae when someone slips a disc, proceeding to cause inflammation and damage neighbouring vertebrae. After 100 days of antibiotics, 80 per cent of the patients who had experienced chronic back pain for more than six months noticed a reduction in pain. [Guardian]

4. Adobe to begin charging subscriptions for Creative Suite

Flexing some of their near-monopoly muscles in the design and editing world, Adobe says users will now have to subscribe in order to receive upgrades for programs in its Creative Suite series. Creative Suite includes 16 programs, including Photoshop, Dreamweaver, InDesign, and Premiere. Formerly, users would have access to all future upgrades after paying a one-time fee for the software. [BBC]

5. Hackers cover NRCC’s new hip site with Viagra spam

The official website of the National Republican Congressional Committee, which had recently received a Buzzfeed-style makeover in an attempt to make it more youth-friendly, was hacked on Sunday and the content was replaced with Viagra and Cialis spam ads (which, let’s not kid ourselves, is probably a bit more realistic for the NRCC’s primary demographic). The site was quickly fixed and reverted to its original glory: an extensive, user-friendly feed full of pro-Republican anti-Democrat articles. [Atlantic]

Mark Schram grew up on a ranch in southwestern Manitoba and now writes out of Winnipeg. If you would like to offer him a job or ask him about how to pull a calf, you can contact him at